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Origins of B-Western


Ripsaw

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Wondering about the B-Western category, thinking I might try it. Just been shooting as a senior so far. I think I've fixed my Rossi '92 with the advice you guys provided a couple weeks ago. So I have a gun for that category.

 

I started watching some of the old westerns on TV (encore western channel on DirecTV rocks) and for the first time, I'm noticing the outfits on the actors on all these shows--Wyatt Earp, Gunsmoke, Bat Masterson, Chyenne, Dead or Alive, etc.--the ALL seem to be wearing vests and scarves. Nobody wears suspenders and everybody has the drop holster set up. So the question is this--is this the source of the rules for B Western? Only problem is, none have the fancy embroidered shirts that are required for this category. Also, the reason for the rifle rule? I see plenty of what look like '73s in these shows.

 

I guess I'm just curious, how the rules for B Western evolved, and why there is even a "costume" category at all. I'm guessing it's just for fun? Seems that way to me. Thoughts?

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Coyote Calhoun was the force behind B Western,,, it is to be more like Roy Rogers as far as dress is concerned.. you are expected to dress "flashy".

 

the rifle,,, I have no clue as to why,,, just because....

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I agree, it's mostly a Roy Rogers, Gene Autry type thing! Flashy, loud and "nancy" like! Ya know just like Cheyenne!! :P:P

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We also already had the Classic Cowboy category for the older style rifles, so Coyote wanted a category for the newer model rifles. And the majority of films & tv used 1892 models - even dolled up as Henry's, model 66's, etc.

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If they made shirts with smiley pockets in my size, I would probably play!

B Western shirts are not required to have smiley pockets.

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B Western shirts are not required to have smiley pockets.

My B Western shirts would have to have smiley pockets. 😉

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OK, what exactly is a smiley pocket?

 

From my avatar, at age 4, you can see I was wearing a Roy Rogers outfit. If you go to my profile page, the picture is bigger and shows more of the outfit.

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Taking digs at people who are not around to defend themselves is bad form, IMO.

Gee, I din't take that as a dig,,, pretty much fact. and a line that continues still and accompanied with a smile...

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Gee, I din't take that as a dig,,, pretty much fact. and a line that continues still and accompanied with a smile...

thats the way I took it. I always thought of it as good advice.

 

San Quentin is no longer with us, I missed that loss.

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I always thought that "B-Western" was created to lure guys off the golf course.

 

Or, it was for guys that already had all the guns they ever wanted and still had money left over.

 

;):D;)

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thats the way I took it. I always thought of it as good advice.

 

San Quentin is no longer with us, I missed that loss.

well unless I missed something, SQ is still with us and is still part of the ROC...

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Wondering about the B-Western category, ...I guess I'm just curious, how the rules for B Western evolved, and why there is even a "costume" category at all. I'm guessing it's just for fun? Seems that way to me. Thoughts?

I ain't, or never have been a member of the Rules Committee, but, from a long term perspective and reflecting back, looking in from the outside, so to speak, here's my take on the history. From way back in the beginning, the Wild Bunch allowed Hollywood cowboy costuming. I wasn't there to recall the very beginnings, but by EOT of 1986 there was a costume contest category that recognized the best dressed "Silver Screen costume." IDR if it was that year or 1987, might've been as late as 1988, that a cowboy from Las Vegas won it by dressin' up as the "Electric Cowboy". (Give me a few days & I'll remember his alias, for he was one to ride the river with, maybe even find a picture of him!) For a few years, there were both "Working Cowboy" and "Working Cowgirl" along with, I believe, a Hollywood costume contest that was judged during the shooting... These were EOT specific. Local clubs had a hard enough time getting folks to dress appropriately, not everyone, just a few... (oh how things haven't changed!)

 

By the early-mid 1990s, shooting style categories started to emerge and demand their own category and rules were developed. First among these was duelist. At least one Wild Bunch member didn't like the "shooting with one hand" thing, and fought them. Then came Frontiersman, a rebirth of the old BP category and required shooting duelist style. Then came Gunfighter. The rules regarding Classic Cowboy and B-Western were made to both distinguish the two costume categories by both costume and firearms normally found during their respective timeframes in western history.

 

In reality, how many times have we seen an 1892 Winchester made up to look like an 1860 Henry, 1866 or 1873 and even described as a .30-30 mdl 94 Winchester! 1892 Winchesters are the end-all, be-all of B-Western. Timeline wise, and for a fair number of shooters, including the 1894 Marlin made sense as it was introduced shortly after the 1892, and if looks from the left side, less the wood, it has a more 1860 Henry looking profile than the 1892. While the 1873 was in production into the Hollywood B-Western era, it wasn't the ubiquitous, almost omnipresent firearm that the 1892 was.

 

There, you have this cowboy's take on B-Western.

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I've never tried to dress the category, but on the general subject of B-Westerns, I see the term not as referring to the TV Westerns of the '50s and '60s so much (though they contain B-Western elements)as the second-feature Westerns cranked out in huge numbers by Republic and other studios in the 1930s through the mid-1950s.

 

There are some good websites out there devoted to B-Westerns and B-Western stars; it's amazing how many of those movies were made and how many regular B-Western star actors and actresses there were!

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Thanks so much for all the thoughts and comments. I never thought about the second feature movies of the 30s and 40s, though that makes perfect sense. Found some on line.

 

Being new to SASS, the historical perspective is nice to have. Might just have to put on those spurs and that embroidered shirt and give it a whirl. Only problem I see is keeping the pants up with the weight of the gun belt hanging low without suspenders!

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Those fancy B-Western shirts are surprisingly available. Most shops selling to modern, rodeo cowboys have a rack or two of these shirts. When ones I like go on sale I sometimes buy one.

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When I fell in love with SASS, I had no idea about categories... I was at the Southeast Regional. Jackson's Western store had red/black holsters on the table and a white Scully shirt with heavy black embroidery (sale rack $20)! A friend said, "what category are you gonna shoot?" I said, "huh?" She said, "you have to have a category." I said, "the category I want is the one I can shoot this in" as I held up the holsters and shirt! People say, choose your category wisely...I say, B Western chose ME! I love dressing up, the smiley pockets, the embroidery. Sometimes shirts can be hard to find...check out eBay...search vintage western shirts.

 

Plus, my first gun was a Marlin 1894 Carbine... Love it! Love this game! Love B Western!

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Thanks so much for all the thoughts and comments. I never thought about the second feature movies of the 30s and 40s, though that makes perfect sense. Found some on line.

 

Being new to SASS, the historical perspective is nice to have. Might just have to put on those spurs and that embroidered shirt and give it a whirl. Only problem I see is keeping the pants up with the weight of the gun belt hanging low without suspenders!

 

I had a gun belt built with suspenders attached, works pretty good. Gun belt doesn't fall down around my ankles anymore, I still catch it for that occasionally from my pards.

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I assume if you meet the minimum requirements of B-Western costume (jeans, stitching on boots, spurs, drop holster rig with conchos and tooling, embroidered shirt, scarf, rifle) that you can shoot even if you are not "real flashy." Might not win a costume contest, but you can still shoot the category, even if the outfit is a little "drab." Is this correct? I'd hate to register as B Western then be told I wasn't flashy enough when I get there to shoot.

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I assume if you meet the minimum requirements of B-Western costume (jeans, stitching on boots, spurs, drop holster rig with conchos and tooling, embroidered shirt, scarf, rifle) that you can shoot even if you are not "real flashy." Might not win a costume contest, but you can still shoot the category, even if the outfit is a little "drab." Is this correct? I'd hate to register as B Western then be told I wasn't flashy enough when I get there to shoot.

 

I wouldn't "assume" anything...especially if there are other BW shooters at any given match.

They (as with Classic Cowboy/Cowgirl competitors) will usually judge and evaluate the outfits of other shooters in their respective categories.

BTW - "fancy and flashy" is included in the "minimum" requirements...subjective though it may be.

All costumes are expected to be fancy and flashy. The “B” Western costuming must be worn during the entire match and awards ceremony with exception of evening formal occasions.

SHB p.17

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Since I've never been to a match with a B-Western competitor, I have nothing to judge "fancy and flashy" by. Umm... What passes at one match might not pass at another? That's interesting.

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